Secret Senate bill to replace Obamacare expected to come to light
WASHINGTON (KTVU) - Republican leaders in the Senate are expected to release their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act aka 'Obamacare' on Thursday.
Ahead of that announcement, an early draft circulating among aides and lobbyists is providing clues as to what the bill might contain, and how it differs from the version of the bill already passed by the House of Representatives.
Medicaid, which provides healthcare to tens of millions of low-income Americans, stands to lose $800 billion over 10 years, according to one estimate, making way for a massive tax cut for the wealthiest Americans.
Democrats, who have been frustrated that the Senate leadership crafted the bill in secret without debate or public hearings, rallied on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
“They're ashamed of a bill that's so mean. They're ashamed of a bill that goes against the interests of America,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate.
But even some Republicans appeared upset that the bill was drafted behind closed doors by just 13 GOP lawmakers.
"My sense of it is there will still be some differences that need to be worked out,” said Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.
With 52 Republicans in the Senate, the vote is expected to come down to a handful of key Republicans, who may vote against the bill. If just three of them vote no, the bill would not pass.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised a vote before the Senate leaves for its break over the July 4th holiday, leaving just nine days for the whole process to happen.